Daily Devotions
 

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  


Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

It may not surprise you to know that my primary coping mechanism over the months of coronavirus has been buying board games. I purchased a couple from my local game shop early on to support the owner Michael, then one directly from the publisher who then donated 20% of the price to that local game shop as a quarantine kindness. Then I discovered Kickstarter. We will not speak of the actual number of games I have purchased or backed over the last 9 months. 

I’ve had games on my brain for years—not only during quarantine—so this week I’m going to share some of those games with you and make connections with our life together. Come, have a seat at the game table!

Just as Covid was entering our consciousness back in February, I finally convinced Edge House alum and fellow games nerd Taylor to try out “Tzolk’in: the Mayan Calendar” with me on game-playing website boardgamearena.com. Tzolk’in is a complex worker-placement game, which means each player has tokens that they place on different spots on the board to do different actions (picking up resources, building things, etc.). This one is fascinating because there’s a network of gears that rotates after every round. You have to hold a lot of different goals in your head as well as your various and overlapping paths to get to those goals—not for the faint of heart! It turns out we both loved it and played daily for a month or so. 

Playing it that much meant two things: first, I was more able to hold all the moving parts in my head. As my son’s violin teacher would say, practice makes it easier. Not perfect, you notice, but easier. The more we practice kindness or prayer or moisturizing or our tennis backhand, the easier it is. Obviously, we also practice things that are bad for us and others and they also get easier over time: judgment, anger, not using our turn-signals. Second, I noticed that playing the game had a multiplicity of paths, that is, there really isn’t only one set way to get points, but a kind of salad bar of things you could do. Maybe you like a spinach, onion, and feta cheese salad and you go hard on that, or maybe you’re more of a chicken-salad-and-iceberg-lettuce guy. Do I go the agriculture route or the Big Resources route? Every time I played I was reminded of how each of us in our own lives choose different things to practice, different things to concentrate on, and how God is present on every one of those paths. I know it sounds cheesy, but playing this game was a spiritual experience and a reminder to me that each of these paths can be rewarding. 

Which leads me to ask myself and you, what are you practicing these days? What do you want to practice? What does your path look like?

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